Five Questions About: The Co-op bank


What's happened – has it gone bust?

No, but it has admitted a £1.5bn black hole in its balance sheet which will force it to go public and list its shares on the stock market this autumn.

So it's in trouble. Will I lose money?

Only if you're one of the 7,000 or so investors who bought the Co-op's preference shares and perpetual subordinated bonds. Those are set to be turned into shares with investors losing the attractive dividend payouts they've been getting.

What about bank customers?

They should not be affected. The Co-op will keep its ethical stance and should remain a credible alternative to the major high street banks. It has more than 300 branches, and 1.3 million current account customers.

Will the Co-op no longer be a mutual?

Interestingly, the Co-op Bank has never been a mutual. It is a plc that is owned by a mutual, and that will continue.

So I shouldn't move to another bank?

The ethical stance remains the same. New chief Euan Sutherland, knows it would be foolish to tamper with the bank's current ethical policy. The competitive products and award-winning service should continue, so there's no real reason to switch.